I’m not going to rehash the whole story here, but let me add a quick check list of ESPN’s guidelines for reporting on a civil suit:
- “No criminal complaint was filed”
- Allegations in a civil suit “may not prove to be true.”
- ESPN is “careful” in reporting civil suits “that impugn a person’s reputation or character.”
Hmm, how does Marv’s case stack up?
- Harrison was never charged. The police said he was not a suspect. Check. Marv is clear.
- He has been accused by a convicted murder who was found guilty of lying to the police about the incident and a man currently in jail. Pretty good chance the allegations may not prove to be true. Check. Marv is clear.
- The story has certainly hurt Harrison’s reputation and character. Check.
I agree with BBS on this point: ESPN doesn’t seem to care about the rep of a black WR as much as the reputation of a white QB. I can’t see any difference between the two cases based on the criteria that ESPN has given.